Revised phylogeography of the common whelk Buccinum undatum (Gastropoda: Buccinidae) across the North Atlantic

Hildur Magnusdottir*, Snebjorn Palsson, Kristen Marie Westfall, Zophonias O. Jonsson, Jake Goodall, Erla Bjork Ornolfsdottir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to revisit the mitochondrial genetic divergence of North Atlantic populations of the subtidal gastropod Buccinum undatum, because previous mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis by Pálsson et al. (2014) included 16S ribosomal RNA sequences that were incorrectly assigned to the species. In the present study, population mtDNA variation is now assessed using COI sequences obtained from previous research (Pálsson et al., 2014) and, to increase the geographical cover of the study, data from recently assembled transcriptomes of 96 Icelandic whelks (Jónsson et al., 2019) and GenBank are also used. To estimate the mtDNA divergence in B. undatum across the North Atlantic, two species screening indices were used: Automatic barcode gap discovey (ABGD; Puillandre et al., 2012a) and species screening threshold index (SSTI; Witt et al., 2006). Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed monophyletic Eastern and Western North Atlantic whelk lineages, which diverged early in the Pleistocene glaciation (2.1 Mya), followed by a subsequent divergence event between Greenlandic and Canadian populations at 1.3 Mya. Species screening indices, ABGD and SSTI, indicated cryptic speciation or allopatric divergence. Genetic distances between populations from the two continents were similar to or greater than interspecific genetic distances across several North Pacific and North Atlantic Buccinum species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-899
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Linnean Society of London.

Other keywords

  • Allopatry
  • Buccinum
  • Genetic divergence
  • Marine gastropods
  • Population connectivity
  • Population structure


Dive into the research topics of 'Revised phylogeography of the common whelk Buccinum undatum (Gastropoda: Buccinidae) across the North Atlantic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this